Thursday, September 6, 2007

Things I've learned on my vacation

It's been kind of a strange week. It turns out that I really like writing, and I enjoy my job. And that actually makes a vacation a little strange. I've dipped my toes into a couple of novels, but they were both fantasy and thus felt like work. I played WoW until very late last night, getting my warlock on Argent Dawn up to 40th level and his felsteed. I'm not enjoying the game like I used to, though I did feel like I was achieving some degree of play skill last night in recovering the Troll Legends from Zul'kunda. But even so, playing a warlock feels like button-mashing—I'm hitting the same buttons in the same order for most fights, and the only issue is how low my mana is running. Hm. I should post on my Gleemax blog about button-mashing.

I watched news of the new iPod announcements with eager anticipation yesterday, and whooped at the announcement of the iPod Touch. I've wanted one of those since the first rumors preceding the release of the iPhone started circulating, and my old iPod is experiencing hard drive failures, and tomorrow is my birthday... I'm disappointed that it's basically a nano with a touch screen (i.e., very limited storage). I consoled myself with the realization that everything on my current (20 GB) iPod will fit on the 16 GB iPod Touch, but then I realized that I don't have any video on my current iPod. If I want to have all the season 2 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender on my iPod, that will eat space. The practical course is to buy an 80 GB iPod Classic. But the iPod Touch is cooool...

And we've been spending a lot of time on the house, finally making what feels like progress. We ordered furniture for our living room/solarium. We ordered our kitchen cabinets. We've primed the solarium's 20-foot-high walls, painted the dining room, finished painting our bedroom. About the only significant decision yet to be made is what kind of countertop we want. (Well, bedroom furniture is the other big one.) So we're making progress.

I have learned that I'm not very good at painting walls, and that I don't like not being good at something.

On the other hand, I've been reminded that I like power tools. I particularly like disassembling things, and my new power saw is cool. Today I cut a big sheet of plywood to replace the one in my son's loft bed, which was moldy or otherwise allergenic. That was cool.

But what this is all circling around to is that I sometimes feel like I need a hobby—something that's not remotely related to work that I can do to rest and recreate. A vacation where I'm very intentionally avoiding anything that feels like work really drives that point home. I could be spending time (when I'm not working on the house) working on my next D&D campaign or writing the articles I owe DUNGEON Magazine or outlining my next novel, but those are exactly the things I'm trying to not do this week. What's left?

I can only do so many sudokus in a day before my brain starts to melt. The non-fantasy books waiting to be read are borderline academic, and that doesn't feel very vacationy, either. Scouring the internet for any reader reactions or reviews of Storm Dragon seems like a monumental waste of time. 

So tonight I finally started to get a glimmer of the whole wide world of the internet that's out there. This is actually kinda funny. I stumbled on Yet Another Damn Blog some time ago, completely at random, and found that I liked some of what this guy had to say. He's a self-described "average redneck feminist poet woodworking database geek. With a goofy hat." Much of it means nothing to me, but I keep checking back. So today I found a link to this story, which is wonderful and eye-opening and thought-provoking and . . . I don't know what. Read it and reflect.

So maybe there's more to this internet thing than the eleven web sites I visit every day. More even than Amazon and Google and Wikipedia. More than the random musings of friends and colleagues. There are ideas out there . . . lots of them . . . thought-provoking and interesting ideas put out there by smart and interesting people I don't know. 

You know, now that I think about it, there are smart and interesting people on the net that I do know, and maybe I should spend a little more time keeping in touch with them as well. Huh. Maybe I'll do that now.

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